Restaurant Review: Cafe Izmir in Dallas

Don't settle for the kebabs. Explore the other offerings of this Mediterranean menu.

Photography by Kevin Marple

You could argue that this intimate Mediterranean tapas restaurant started the hummus craze when it opened in 1996. Versions of the mashed garbanzo bean dip were available around town, but Cafe Izmir’s garlic-and-sesame-laden recipe ignited the Dallas palate. Take a seat and a server will hand you a menu, asking if you’d like hummus and pita. Be warned: it’s not complimentary, and if you say yes, you’ve already spent $7.95. If you ask for recommendations, expect upsells. Listen to them, but look at the extensive menu of Greek, Turkish, Lebanese, and Persian appetizers, dips, salads, small plates, and entrées. Instead of going with the obvious and suggested beef or chicken kebabs, choose a delightful veggie pirashki: lavash bread wrapped around mushrooms, pineapple, okra, yellow squash, and bell peppers, then panfried. More here.